Swearing and Oathing at the Treasury Department


douglas rediker imf twn.jpgOne of my former New America Foundation colleagues and great friends, Douglas Rediker, did not need a recess appointment and was sworn in Thursday in the Cash Room of the Department of Treasury.
Rediker, former Director of the New America Foundation’s Global Strategic Finance Initiative, is the new Alternative US Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund.
This is important for a number of reasons, particularly Rediker’s important work that he has done with his wife, Heidi Crebo-Rediker who now serves as Chief, International Finance and Economics for the majority on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two of them, both deeply experienced in capital and financial markets work, nonetheless saw the limits of manic neoliberalism in Russia and Eastern Europe. They wrote about the quickly evolving development of “state capitalism”, “sovereign wealth funds”, and strategic financial competition designed by other countries to challenge American primacy in global finance.
hamilton profile.jpgRediker’s swearing-in was supposed to be done by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, but he was delayed on the Hill and instead Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin did the oathing and Rediker the swearing.
For those who track these things, Atlantic Council and former Wall Street Journal Europe chief Frederick Kempe did a great job as master of ceremonies — and the attendees included Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, White House Social Secretary Julianna Smoot [just on the job for four days], Commodities Future Trading Commission Chair Gary Gensler, former Obama Senate office economic adviser and new US Executive Director to the World Bank Ian Solomon, IMF Deputy Director John Lipsky, Michael Lind and Samuel Sherraden both of the New America Foundation Economic Growth Program, Heidi Crebo-Rediker from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, among others.
gallatin.jpeg.jpgCongrats as well to Ian Solomon on his recent confirmation.
Now a question for all the Treasury Department types I met the other day.
Why in the world is the official entrance to Treasury marked by a large statue to Albert Gallatin, the 4th Secretary of Treasury and a pawn of Thomas Jefferson in many anti-Hamilton crusades?
Alexander Hamilton’s statue is in the back of the building.
This doesn’t make sense. Hamilton was a champion of infrastructure development, infant industry-nurturing industrial policy, and smartly deployed credit.
Those types of policies are what the nation needs today — and it may be about time to put the FIRST Secretary of Treasury out front.
Congrats again to Douglas Rediker, who has on several occasions been an important guest blogger here at the The Washington Note.
— Steve Clemons


10 comments on “Swearing and Oathing at the Treasury Department

  1. Dirk says:

    “My recollection is that this jibe was of UK origin, and was used mainly by Blair’s critics in his own country.”
    Hmm…It appears you are right, after some research the statement seems to have originated from the British left:
    My main point of the comment was that future cooperation from US allies should not be taken for granted. The irritation stems from Steve’s dismissal of the N. Irish peace process and another poster’s tendency to refer to European allies as “lapdogs”.


  2. Billy Moore says:

    I would suggest that there shouldn’t be any honorific to Mr. Hamilton anywhere in Washington. Hamilton was a monocrat royalist who believed that the Washington family would have made a spiffy royal line. Were I there, I would have been on the side of Jefferson and Burr: against Hamilton.
    If the Reaganauts want RR on a bill, the ten-spot would be very nice. In the day of Connally-signed bills, I used to give them back to cashiers and ask if they had any not signed by criminals. I feel the same way about Hamiltons.


  3. Dan Kervick says:

    “Among other things, the term “poodle” idly thrown around by people on both sides of the US spectrum seems to have really rubbed people in the UK the wrong way.”
    My recollection is that this jibe was of UK origin, and was used mainly by Blair’s critics in his own country.


  4. Dirk says:

    Looks like the UK, after having taken a hard look at their involvement in the Iraq war, decided, in a bipartisan panel, to review the “special relationship” they maintain between the UK and the US:
    Among other things, the term “poodle” idly thrown around by people on both sides of the US spectrum seems to have really rubbed people in the UK the wrong way.
    Even our host, in trying to emphasize the importance of the Isr/Pal negotiations, has thrown out the completely avoidable notion that the Northern Ireland peace process was somehow irrelevant. I know many English and Irish people and that is definitely NOT the case.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, did Dennis Ross swear an Oath of Office??? And if so, was it in Hebrew?


  6. Steven Clemons says:

    DavidT — you could be quite correct on that. Hamilton’s statue,
    which I also think is great is on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the
    building, which may have been the real entrance…I’ll have to check
    it out again. But the way I see most people entering and departing
    is the Gallatin side facing the same side the White House faces
    (North)…. Not a really big deal, but the day I was there, I missed
    Hamilton being in front of what I thought should be the front.
    Thanks for your great note. steve


  7. Don Bacon says:

    Treasury appointees take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
    Perhaps they will support Congressman Paul’s Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which would provide some oversight to the Federal Reserve because of its current lack of transparency? Maybe not.


  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You mean Oaths of Office are still taken seriously in Washington DC???
    Horseshit. Have you been on Mars for the last five decades?
    The only reason to administer an Oath of Office to the current crop of Washington criminals is to underscore what self serving scumbags they’ve become as they ignore (and shit on) the very people those Oaths of Office were written to protect.


  9. samuelburke says:

    i guess it’s good to be employed by the corporations and
    individuals that sponsor these think tanks where all the wise
    young idea apparatchiks dwell.
    apparatchik : a blindly devoted official, follower, or member of an
    organization (as a corporation or political party) a fill in the blanks apparatchik<
    what are you a fan of?


  10. DavidT says:

    Forgive me, Steve, if my memory doesn’t serve me right but
    isn’t the spot where Hamilton stands along Pennsylvania
    Avenue or just off of that historical route between the White
    House and Congress (and closer to the seat of national
    power — namely the White House — than Gallatin)? I don’t
    remember ever going to the entrance to the Treasury
    Department, but I quite recall walking by the magnificent
    Hamilton statue when living there and thought it was on the
    route that is far more likely to be seen by non-Treasury Dept.
    employees than is the front entrance to that building. You
    may feel differently (though I know you’re a big Hamilton fan
    as am I), but I feel his statue belongs to all of us rather than
    just the Treasury Department employees. In fact the timing
    of your post makes my point by itself given how long you’ve
    been in DC yet only now who stands in front of that building.
    Why would you prefer Hamilton to be in front of a building
    that one only goes to for swearing in ceremonies, job
    interviews, or to work in the morning when he can be so
    much closer to a route that the rest of the population might
    Respectfully, DavidT


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